noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive + intransitive verb

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film.
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley

3 T

a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce starless (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce starlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

luminary, sphere, sun

Synonyms: Adjective

astral, starry, stellar

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Examples of star in a Sentence


They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars.


The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook.


looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Though the former reality star only attended traditional public school until eighth grade, that’s not stopping her from pursuing higher education. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "How Chloe Lukasiak Is Moving On From Her 'Dance Moms' Past," 26 May 2019 Jamie-Lynn Sigler The Sopranos star is never afraid to share what her life looks like as a mom living with multiple sclerosis. Glamour, "10 Times Celebrity Moms Got Real About Breastfeeding," 18 May 2019 No star was less starlike than I.M. Pei, the gentle, self-effacing Chinese-American architect who died Thursday at age 102. Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, "Remembering I.M. Pei: Farewell to a Modernist Master," 17 May 2019 But for us, the star of the show was absolutely the cupcakes. Stefanie Waldek, House Beautiful, "What Every Chip and Joanna Gaines Fan Should Know Before Visiting Waco, Texas," 14 May 2019 Despite wearing modestly sized Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires—that, yes, are branded with BMW's star (★) designation—the Supra averaged a heroic 1.07 g on the skidpad. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "We Test the 2020 Toyota Supra: Zero to 60 in 3.8 Seconds," 14 May 2019 The 52-year-old reality star has been open about her ongoing battle with cancer, hoping that the support of her fans will aid in her recovery. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Here's Why Abby Lee Miller Is In a Wheelchair," 11 May 2019 Less than a week after the American Idol alum underwent emergency surgery to remove her appendix, the pop star is already back to work. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson Returned to 'The Voice' Just 5 Days After Her Emergency Surgery," 7 May 2019 Jennifer Aniston, Rodney Dangerfield, Rob Schneider, and more of his movie co-stars were present. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Adam Sandler and His Wife Jackie Met in the Craziest Way," 4 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Following the all-out glam looks at Cannes last week, things were feeling a bit more casual amongst our favorite style stars over the past seven days. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "What Bella Hadid, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna Wore This Week," 31 May 2019 Way back in the fall of 2003, CBS premiered a brand-new show starring actor Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Wait, What Does 'NCIS' Stand For?," 30 May 2019 Joe ScarniciGetty Images The newest Netflix show formerly known as Mixtape, starring Jenna Dewan, is in the process of shooting. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Shares a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Her New Netflix Musical Drama," 30 May 2019 In the meantime, take a trip down memory lane by rewatching the original films starring the O.G. Agents K and J, portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "The Lexus RC F Is the Ride of Choice for the Men in Black in Their Newest Movie," 29 May 2019 First came the surprise 2017 box office hit Girls Trip, co-starring Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith. Celeste Sloman, WSJ, "A Day in the Life of Regina Hall," 28 May 2019 Turner, who stars as Jean Grey in the upcoming installment of the X-Men franchise, was later joined by her co-stars Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jessica Chastain (Smith), and James McAvoy (Charles Xavier). Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner Wore a Crop Top and Jeans on the Red Carpet but Made It Fashun," 22 May 2019 Can Be Deceiving at the Brooklyn Museum, visitors are greeted by a floor-to-ceiling video clip of the artist staring into the camera. Lillian Dondero, ELLE Decor, "Fashionably Late: An Editor's Take on the Frida Kahlo Exhibit in Brooklyn," 27 Mar. 2019 Her friend Lisa has a starring role, but cast members keep coming down with illnesses—four cast members called in sick just this morning. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Anna and the Apocalypse: A zombie-Christmas-high school musical can’t be this good," 1 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The all-star lineup of performers includes Gov. Eric Holcomb, WISH-8 anchor Lauren Lowrey, Ivy Tech president Sue Ellspermann and Indianapolis Motor Speedway attorney Jimmie McMillian. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "‘Bob & Tom’ host and all-star cast will roast Carmel-Fishers rivalry at IRT," 16 Feb. 2018 While star men such as Harry Kane and Davinson Sanchez have been tied down to new contracts, one equally essential Spurs player looks set to be moved on, missing out on seeing the club step into a new era., "One of a Kind: Why Replacing Mousa Dembele Will Be No Easy Task for Tottenham Hotspur," 21 June 2018 Eight o'clock, this Saturday night, all-star lineup. Fox News, "Democrats threaten to investigate Kavanaugh after midterms," 21 Sep. 2018 New Orleans went 7-10 with Cousins and missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season while all-star power forward Anthony Davis was in his prime. Paul Coro,, "Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday & Co. on verge of completing Pelicans' playoff push," 7 Apr. 2018 Embiid scored the first points of the game and continued on to finish with 19 points and eight rebounds in his first ever all-star appearance. Sarah Todd,, "NBA All-Star Game: Joel Embiid shines, LeBron James dominates and other quick observations," 18 Feb. 2018 Five-time World Player of the Year and four-time UEFA Champions League winner Messi leads the all-star lineup, with Real Madrid's back to back UEFA Champions League winning pair Marcelo and Kroos joining the game., "VIDEO: Pepsi Stars Including Lionel Messi and Toni Kroos Paint the World Blue in Stunning New Advert," 6 Mar. 2018 The all-star lineup of performers includes Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia and Shirley Caesar. Jeff Karoub, The Seattle Times, "Detroit saying farewell in royal fashion to Queen of Soul," 27 Aug. 2018 This year’s edition will take place on November 13, again in Laguna Beach, California, and features an all-star lineup of Kevin Systrom, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Hart. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: All in the Family," 23 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for star

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for star



English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky
: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives
: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.
: to have (someone) as the most important performer
: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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More from Merriam-Webster on star

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with star

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for star

Spanish Central: Translation of star

Nglish: Translation of star for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of star for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about star

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